SportsBusiness Journal reports that MLBPA head Michael Weiner is going to continue his predecessor Donald Fehr’s tradition of taking $1 million a year in salary. You may say that’s not exactly “working cheap,” but (a) that salary has remained flat since 1990, meaning that in real terms the MLBPA head has taken annual pay cuts; and (b) compared to their counterparts in other sports unions Fehr and Weiner are utter bargains.
Gene Upshaw, for example, made $6 million in the last year before his death. I know Gene Upshaw. I watched Mr. Upshaw work. Mr. Fehr and Mr. Weiner are no Gene Upshaws. And I mean that as a compliment to Fehr and Weiner.
No matter what you think of the players’ union, there is no escaping that it is one of the most successful unions in all of organized labor, not just sports labor. The fact that their Executive Directors make less than most team’s utility infielders make them among the best deals in sports.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was once again ejected from an NLCS game, this time in Game 4.
In the top of the eighth inning, closer Wade Davis found himself in a bit of a pickle. He gave up a leadoff home run to Justin Turner, cutting the Cubs’ lead to 3-2. Davis then walked Yasiel Puig. He was able to get Andre Ethier to pop up, bringing up Curtis Granderson. Granderson worked the count 2-2, then fouled off a pitch. And then he appeared to swing through a curve that bounced in the dirt. Catcher Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out, but Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, so it was a foul ball.
Wolf conferred with the other umpires. After a brief delay, the strikeout was overturned and Granderson was given new life in the batter’s box. Only… replays showed that Wolf got it right the first time.
Understandably, Maddon was livid. On the broadcast, one could see Maddon gesturing to the umpires to look at the replay on the video board behind the stands in left field. The argument fell on deaf ears and he was ejected. Thankfully for the Cubs, justice prevailed and Davis struck out Granderson on the next pitch.
It’ll be interesting to see if Maddon makes any political comparisons after the game. He likened the slide rule, the impetus behind his Game 1 ejection, to the soda tax.